THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
January 29, 2023 at 05:00 JST
Hakuho, one of the all-time yokozuna greats, formally retired from the ring on Jan. 28 with a ceremony that involved the ritual cutting of his topknot.
Former rival yokozuna from Mongolia were among hundreds of well-wishers who gathered for the event held at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.
Around 280 individuals, mainly sumo wrestlers and supporters, climbed up to the dohyo to snip bits of his topknot, a procedure that marks his formal retirement as a sumo wrestler.
Hakuho, who is 37, had racked up a record 45 career championships when he called it quits after the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in September 2021.
Now that he is a stablemaster, he goes by the name of Miyagino.
Hakuho cut a magnificent figure as he sat on a chair on the dohyo as wrestlers such as yokozuna Terunofuji sliced away at his topknot.
Retired yokozuna Kakuryu and Harumafuji, who are both from Mongolia, took part in the proceedings, which caused Hakuho to well up.
When Harumafuji whispered to him, “I am proud to have fought on the same dohyo as you,” Hakuho was unable to hold back his tears.
Hakuho’s stablemaster, Magaki, completed the cutting of the topknot.
Hakuho said he wanted to repay his loyal fans by developing wrestlers from his stable with the skills necessary to be promoted to ozeki and yokozuna.
He made another appearance sporting his new look.
“While I feel refreshed, I also am sad because it feels as though a part of my body is gone,” he said.
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